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Ongoing Innovations at Batch & Cullet Plant Specialist ZIPPE during Corona

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For more than 100 years the core business of ZIPPE Industrieanlagen GmbH has been the design and construction of high-performance batch and cullet plants. During the pandemic, ZIPPE remained true to its future orientation by initiating several promising innovations and technological developments.

The past 12 months have been challenging in many ways. The global pandemic held the world in a state of emergency, it made work difficult and endangered the health of many people. Regardless of the difficulties that had to be overcome, it was also a time of innovation at ZIPPE where significant technological advances were made.

Here are some of these innovations:

Dosing Belt Scale BWS™

Dosing belt scales play an increasingly important part in batch and especially cullet systems and have several advantages in comparison to conventional container scales. Reason enough for ZIPPE to develop an own, inhouse model that exceeds the performances of the products available on the market. During 2020, the performance of the system was further improved. The ZIPPE dosing belt scale was not only redesigned, but its weighing accuracy was also further enhanced such that by using the ZIPPE evaluation electronics and redesigned mechanical components, weighing accuracies up to +/- 0.5% are now standard. Since 2016, more than 100 ZIPPE dosing belt scales have been built and are in use worldwide.

ZMART® Scraper Control (Intelligent Mode)

At ZIPPE, we strive to ensure that our machines have the latest state of the art technology and constantly improve our products. To reduce wear and to minimise the portion of fine material in scraping conveyors are two areas that are considered as particularly important by our customers.

Therefore, ZIPPE developed the innovative ZMART® Scraper Control System. Depending on the gob weight and quantity of gobs or hot bottles, this advanced control system module decides whether and at which speed the scraping conveyor operates.

Furthermore, the required operating time will be minimised and calculated individually. The necessary production data is automatically provided by simple standardised interfaces between the IS-machines and the scraping conveyor control system.

If required, these parameters can be entered and adapted manually via touch panel and thus allow a continuous and individual optimisation of the process. Thus, high operational flexibility is achieved, the operation time is reduced to a minimum and, above all, this cost-saving alternative is permanently available.

The positive effects of the optimised scraper control system at a glance:

  • Reduced wear and therefore longer lifetime of the scraping conveyor
  • Minimisation of the fine cullet portion
  • Less maintenance works
  • Considerably lower energy consumption
  • Cost savings and carbon dioxide reduction

Meanwhile, the ZMART® Scraper Control System has been successfully commissioned at our customer O-I in Bernsdorf and operates to their fullest satisfaction.

Remote Services

Due to the situation regarding Covid-19 and the resulting travel restrictions over the past months, the installation, commissioning, and service of the different machine and plant parts had to be reconsidered. In this regard ZIPPE relies on remote support for customers with the help of Augmented Reality (AR), remote services, and teleservices.

In times when unrestricted traveling is not possible, ZIPPE is able to support its customers from a distance. It is essential for the customer’s technician and the ZIPPE service specialist to “speak the same language”. Previously, numerous e-mails including photo documentation were exchanged. It is now possible to support customers in a significantly more efficient and quick manner thanks to modern Augmented Reality (AR) technology.

Making Silos “Zmart” with the ZMART® Inventory System

Traditionally silos are connected to the internal control system and show filling levels, etc. We took the technology one step further by enabling improved levels of visualisation and options for Vendor Managed Inventory applications (VIM).
The ZMART® Inventory System is a web-based software for data acquisition and visualisation of level data in raw material silos.
This service is suitable for level monitoring within a company and for Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) applications.

Advantages for the supplier

  • Quick access to current and historic customer consumption data
  • Cost-effective production and inventory planning in own company
  • Higher client retention levels
  • Cost savings through optimised logistics
  • Improved relationships and long-term customer loyalty

Advantages for the customer

  • Security of supply: no more "out of stock" situations and costly rush orders
  • Avoidance of production stoppages
  • Cost savings through reduced administrative work
  • Higher efficiency and confidence in stock levels
  • Concentration on core business

Further advancements in preheating technologies

Preheating technologies have also been further developed and improved. As the reduction of CO2 is becoming a major motivation for many of our customers, batch preheating is increasingly in demand, especially in the last 18 months. One of the challenges is that many batch preheaters can increase the dust content of the flue gas as the batch is in contact with the exhaust gases for drying and heating purposes. This can create issues in the filtering equipment if it is not laid-out for the increased dust quantity. The objective of the latest technological development is to avoid this issue by minimising this carry-over. In 2021 an advanced mechanism has been developed by ZIPPE engineers, theoretical models have been applied, and tests are running. The result we are targeting is a system that maintains the same high efficiency of preheating but ensures a highly reduced dust carry-over. We aim to achieve this by complex modelling, testing, and improving the air and pressure flow within the system. During the pandemic, two orders were placed for large scale preheaters for European container glass producers which are currently in the realisation phase.